PERFORMING WITH PRIDE – WHY LOCAL ACTS MATTER

Tom Richmond discusses his experience performing at LGBT Pride events and why it’s important to support local talent, not always big names at Pride.

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It’s Pride season, a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the rights we have as LGBT+ people and also to remember those who fought so hard to give us those rights.

Last year I had the honour of performing at the first Dundee Pride. It still makes me smile to think about it.

I performed in the Youth Zone in the Caird Hall and was lucky enough to be chosen to perform by the kids running Purple Dragons. It was so lovely to see these kids get a chance to be themselves and let their hair down and I was happy to provide the music and be a small part of that. It was fantastic to be there at a Pride event in Dundee, I could never have imagined the possibility of one taking place never mind being lucky enough to perform at one.

This year I have the amazing opportunity to perform at both Fife Pride and Perthshire Pride with one of my fabulous friends, Rachel Hogg.

Rachel beams with joy when describing the feeling of being asked to perform at the local Pride events.

“I am an ally, a straight person who is lucky enough to have some of my closest friends be part of the LGBT+ community. I am even more humbled to be singing with Thomas at an event that means so much to so many, myself included.”

“Pride is an emotion everyone is entitled to and I am so happy that I can celebrate alongside everyone at these events. It is so important to continue to fight towards freedom for all. To stand with pride is to stand for love and equality and I couldn’t be prouder standing with you all.”

The massive draw of larger, more global Pride events is obviously appealing and they do offer the advantage of being able to host celebrity performances and appearances, but there is nothing like the feeling of attending Pride in your local area.

Pride gives your local community a chance to let their hair down, something that is even more important in this political climate. Here you can appreciate how far your local area has come in acceptance of LGBT+ rights and equality. It also gives smaller areas a chance to increase visibility and challenge stereotypes in places where LGBT+ lives may not be as accepted. It is still mind blowing that there are Pride events in places like Kirkcaldy and Dundee, and long may they continue to flourish.

With just short of 20 Pride events taking place this year, there are plenty of opportunities for people to get out there and support their local Pride. And if there are any aspiring performers then keep your eyes peeled for social media and web posts from each of the Pride organisers – they have all the details you need to apply to perform at future events. From my own experience it is 100% worth it!

Rachel and Thomas will be performing as the duo ‘Ginger Fruit’ at Fife Pride, 6th July and Perthshire Pride, 10th August. A list of Pride events can be found on the Pink Saltire website.

Main pic credit: Fife Pride / Dunfermline Camera Club

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